Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3
NEW HOPE: Just when I thought I’d be posting a few less photos… here I am all day Saturday at my one professional photography gig! Fortunately, part of the deal is that I retain ownership of the images; so I’m happy to share a few sample pictures with my readers in this post.
I’ve been asked to “Tell the story in pictures” whenever New Hope Presbytery meets for its quarterly gatherings – New Hope comprises around 125 Presbyterian Churches- PC(USA) – in our part of North Carolina. I’ve attended four meetings to date, and they have all been inspirational examples of the Body of Christ in action, working together to be more effective witnesses to the transformational power of the good news.
BELIEF: Saturday the church was challenged to live and to do ministry as if we actually believe the life-giving message of the gospel. This – of course – is exactly how Rebekah and I have always approached ministry, ever since the day she received her first call to Trinity in Pensacola. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
Over the years, some cynical ministers have gone so far as to suggest that Rebekah is naive in her approach. But – after thirty-three years of gospel ministry – we’re pretty much convinced that it’s not naïveté but the Holy Spirit, belief based on the undeniable fact of the power of faith and the regenerative truth of the good news.
“the undeniable fact of the power of faith and the regenerative truth of the good news.”
After all, this is Jesus we’re talking about! And all things are possible to those who believe! Jesus is the author of new life, and there is no good reason for any body of believers to experience anything other than blessing, encouragement, grace, growth, and the promise of life.
So I was encouraged Saturday to witness so much dynamic evidence of good news, and life, and transformation at the meeting of New Hope Presbytery.
ENCOURAGEMENT: One serendipity – for me – was running into preacher Chris Edmonston, head of staff at White Memorial, one of the ten largest Presbyterian congregations in the USA. “Thanks for your strong message,” I said; “Your words really hit the mark. I appreciated what you said about the gospel.”
“And thank you for your books, Derek,” he replied (I didn’t know Chris knew me!). “Your Lent and Advent studies are exceptional.”
Here are a few photographs. If you want to see them all, go to the New Hope Presbytery website later this week. With any luck they won’t be hidden of some obscure back page!
Peace and blessings… and new hope – DEREK